The inaugural KAABOO: Del Mar attracted tens of thousands of concertgoers to the Del Mar Racetrack & Fairgrounds earlier this month (Friday, September 18, Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20). Situated just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, KAABOO featured more than 100 bands and three days of performances on seven stages–headlined by No Doubt, The Killers and Zac Brown Band. Throughout the KAABOO weekend, music aficionados experienced six unparalleled experiences: a variety of top line comedians in Humor Me; a full-scale food and drink experience at Palate, Crafty and Posh Nosh; the creative expression seen in ArtworK; and Indulgences, a sampling of luxury services, shopping, amidst comfortable lounge areas KAABOO Del Mar is presented in partnership with Mercedes Benz. As this year’s KAABOO Del Mar concluded, organizers revealed the dates for next year: September 16-18, 2016.
Here are images from all three days of KAABOO for editorial use:
Here’s some of the initial critical feedback on KAABOO: Del Mar:
“It was another day of choose-your-own-adventure style fun…”
“Kaaboo wrapped up its inaugural run at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with accolades from the concertgoers…With high-end food from San Diego area restaurants as well as fair fare, craft beers, spirits and wine, festival organizers positioned Kaaboo as the best of other large-scale music festivals while addressing some of their difficulties, including more seating and permanent bathrooms. The first-time festival snagged some top talent over the weekend, with No Doubt performing its last scheduled show on Friday, Zac Brown Band merging rock and country with covers of Queen and Metallica on Saturday night and The Killers closing out the festival on Sunday.”
“As soon as you enter the festival, 30-foot by 20-foot hand-painted murals tower over attendees…What makes all of it more exciting is that everything on display was either created this year, created specifically for the festival, or created at the festival…Music might be the main attraction at KAABOO, but the artwork certainly makes the entire experience that much better.”
“As the first of its kind, KAABOO could obviously come to fruition in no other place than San Diego…It was a discovery of the senses and I was hooked…With seven stages, more than 30 kinds of craft beer and spirits, 18 local restaurants and chefs and more than 100 musical acts, it was the classy cousin to other music festivals…it was spacious enough where festival-goers weren’t packed in like sardines, but small enough to where each stage was in close proximity, allowing people to have more time to enjoy the amenities rather than hiking to the next concert…KAABOO’s greatest strength lay in the details: The clean and plentiful bathrooms, the oversized canvases painted by local artists (or in some cases, created onsite during the weekend), the colorful banners that decorated the stages, the complimentary “hydration stations” where festival-goers could refill their water bottles – everything contributed to the evident joy that festival-goers displayed because of a well executed event.”
“KAABOO, an innovative new festival, landed at Del Mar Racetrack (just north of San Diego)…presented over 100 music acts, a dedicated stand-up comedy stage, gourmet food, craft beers and a variety of creature comforts. They built it, and people came, thousands of fans who enjoyed a long weekend of live music, big-name comedians, celebrity chef demonstrations, a huge art installation and more…One of the nicest touches was the shaded areas designed to help festers escape from the blistering sun. Strategically placed water-bottle filling stations were available to all attendees. Maybe best of all was the absence of porta-potties. Clean, air-conditioned facilities were open inside the building structures and fancy ‘Honey Wagon’ deluxe portable bathrooms were also placed in areas without easy access to buildings…KAABOO ended on a high note. As the spent audience headed out to the exits, the giant video screens posted a “thank you for attending” and a reminder that next year’s event is scheduled for September 16-18, 2016. The Del Mar Racetrack complex has ample space and parking to accommodate even more stages and larger crowds next year, and since the organizers have committed to making KAABOO a major festival destination…”
“It is great to have such a festival nearby, one that blends a well-curated buffet of music, art and cuisine. Anyone who attended Kaaboo undoubtedly left with the feeling that much was left unexplored, which bodes well for the promoters to count on many returning visitors next September.”
“The inaugural Kaaboo festival kicked off at Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, California on September 18, 2015. The racetrack and fairgrounds were completely transformed from pavement and stone into a multimedia carnival of sight and sound. The lot that traditionally hosts the summer post-race concert series is now a beach, complete with a wooden boardwalk and beach volleyball court. A huge crowd showed up to see a wide variety of artists, highlighted by performances from Snoop Dogg and No Doubt featuring Gwen Stefani.”
“The weather was hot in San Diego this weekend reaching up to the 90’s. However, the hottest thing in the area was Kaaboo Del Mar- the inaugural music festival in the San Diego region, which set the bar high for the future…. Kaaboo is much more than a simple music festival though, it is an entire experience. The festival strives to appeal to all five of your senses with some of the biggest names in music, dancing everywhere, delicious food, craft libations, hilarious stand-up comedy, beautiful artwork everywhere, and more. Kaaboo was the whole shebang!… Usually first year festivals run into all sorts of cracks and hurdles, however, Kaaboo Del Mars seemed to run as smoothly as could be. The logistics were flawless, as it was simple to enter the festival or even find a bathroom without waiting in ridiculous lines. The music was on point, and was accompanied by so many other elements and artwork than most festivals usually hold. It was a festival that truly did have something for everyone. It’s hard to believe that Kaaboo can only get better from here. We can’t wait to see what they come up with for its second year!”
“Kaaboo was very well organized and the multiple stages were situated perfectly…it was nice to be able to escape to places indoors. Patrons tried new artisan food, craft beer and a variety of Southern California wines while checking out mixologist demos in the indoor and air-conditioned Palate area. They also got their hair and makeup touched up or designed T-shirts and bathing suits in the Indulgences section. People ducked into the indoor Humor Me comedy club for sets by Anthony Jeselnik and Chris D’Elia. At times it felt like there were almost too many options for things to do as the day became a sort of choose-your-own-adventure.”
“Kaaboo 2015 has come and gone, and man was it fun. An impressive festival, and the first of its kind – it will be interesting to see how this event develops over the years…planning that was rather brilliant on Kaaboo’s part…Del Mar Fairgrounds is an excellent place to host a festival. With amazing views, a sea breeze, actual infrastructure that can be used, rather than having to import everything from food stands to bathrooms. In addition to the amazing surroundings that the fairgrounds alone provide, Kaaboo was excellently adorned with live art, as well as existing installations. They even made the effort to cover the ground at the Sunset Cliffs stage with beach sand, so that people wouldn’t be standing on dusty dirt. Just a real classy move, at what is apparently a real classy festival.”
“In its inaugural year, Kaaboo was simultaneously the new kid and old soul on the festival block. For three days at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, the event touted arena and amphitheater-filling headliners in No Doubt, Zac Brown Band and The Killers, but also put its own stamp on the crowded festival circuit. Kaaboo championed hyper-local restaurants, breweries and artists, and paired them with simple essentials that are luxuries in the multi-stage music festival world: flushing toilets and lots of seating…among Kaaboo’s strengths was its eclectic lineup…Kaaboo works–it casts a wide net and the variety of its attendees were able to stay in their lane or venture to something new that wasn’t overly risky…The staff was important in making the festival a welcome atmosphere. They were polite and friendly. Lines, if there were any, moved quickly, and the grounds were very clean…One of the reasons Kaaboo was such a pleasant experience is that there was plenty of space.”
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